Oregon employers warn that the state has run out of workers who can pass a drug test

Oregon state economists Mark McMullen and Josh Lehner say that employers have told them that they can't fill vacancies because every qualified candidate fails their drug test, which is sometimes mandated by the companies' insurers.

Oregon has had legal recreational weed since July 1, 2015, and also boasts a sub-4% unemployment rate, the lowest since records began in 1990 (I know — they started keeping records in 1990?).

"Given the tight labor market, and legal recreational marijuana up and down the Left Coast, these reports are a bit surprising," they write. "It may be that the pool of available applicants has shifted; that individuals who can pass drug test already have a job. It may be for insurance‐related reasons that employers are ensuring they have a drug‐free workplace, even if it means monitoring their employees behavior on their own time. However it is possible that these anecdotal reports reflect a broader increase in drug usage that would be both an economic and societal problem."

Oregon Is Running Out of Workers Who Can Pass a Drug Test [Nigel Jaquiss/Willamette Week]